Today and tomorrow are the last days for guests to visit the Martha’s Vineyard Teddy Bear Suite, a special place where holiday memories are made. The suite is open from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
We were thrilled to be asked to extend the suite for another week, and are sad that is coming to an end. The bears will say goodbye on Saturday, December 17th, and go back to their bear cave — although the Martha’s Vineyard Teddy Bear Suite Fundraising drive continues online.
With that said, we have a little more time to celebrate the joy of the season with the magic of the Teddy Bear Suite, to take in the glow of twinkling lights, and enjoy the Christmas trees and cuddle with all the bears.
Kids big and small have been marveling at all the bears — since our collection has grown quite a bit. Many are saying that this is the best year yet, and we too think it might be.
Not only are there more bears and another new big bear Quinn, but it’s also a year with such an important program we’re fundraising for the Happy Healthy Kids.
Happy Healthy Kids is the Martha’s Vineyard Boys & Girls Club’s new initiative to address childhood hunger. The fact that one in four Island children is on free or reduced lunch in the school system is scary, the cost of living is so great. To know that so many children go without food is heartbreaking. Even some well known people have taken an interest in this event, and what we are raising money for.
Secretary of State John Kerry (and well known Massachusetts, and now Martha’s Vineyard resident) supported the drive with a large donation this week!
However, the Club is doing something about it. They’ve created the Happy Healthy Kids program. This enables children (and there are hundreds that go through those doors each the week), the opportunity to have a free snack/meal at the After School Program. Not just a yogurt or a piece of fruit but a substantive amount of food.
There are different items each day of the week. One day is an oatmeal bar with lots of fresh fruit and toppings, one day is a pasta bar, etc. This allows children to have the chance to eat a nutritious meal. For some, this might be the last meal of the day, for others, it might be the most nutritious and balanced meal of their day.
With online donations, the Teddy Bear Trot, our raffle during Christmas in Edgatown, and donations at the teddy bear suite, we have been able to meet and beat our original goal of $15,000 for Happy Healthy Kids. We have raised $17,000+ and have a new goal of $20,000. That’s more than half of the $35,000 the Club needs to fund this important program. And Club Executive Director, Jessie Damroth, expects that cost to increase, as more children come to the Club.
The Martha’s Vineyard Teddy Bear Suite can be found at the Captain Collins Cottage #20 at the Harbor View Hotel, 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. The last day is Saturday, December 17th. We hope to see you before it closes until next Christmas.